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- Bio-identical hormones are safe and effective
- Documented benefits for both men and women
- Provides a steady hormone level for months
Frequently Asked Questions
About Testosterone Therapy
- What exactly are hormones?
- What is testosterone?
- What are the symptoms of testosterone deficiency?
- How do you test for low testosterone?
- How do you treat low testosterone?
- What are bio-identical hormones?
- Isn’t testosterone deficiency just a men’s health issue?
- Is testosterone replacement therapy safe?
- Why should I use bio-identical hormone pellets to treat my low testosterone?
- What is involved in starting on bio-identical hormone therapy?
- What is the follow-up care for bio-identical hormone therapy?
- What are the costs associated with testosterone therapy?
- Does insurance cover testosterone therapy?
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers responsible for controlling a variety of cellular functions in our bodies. However, even a slight change in hormone levels can have a significant impact on the body.
Testosterone is a hormone that is extremely important for health in both women and men. It contributes to muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, and the enhancement of the sense of well-being and psychological health.
It protects against cardiovascular disease and reduces blood sugar, as well as leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance.
Low levels of testosterone – a hormone vital to the health and well-being of both men and women – are associated with a number of symptoms relating to sleep, mental health and energy levels.
Both men and women with low testosterone frequently experience:
- Changes in cognition, memory and frequent headaches
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Mood swings and dysphoric mood (sadness, depression, anxiety, irritability)
- Diminished sense of well-being
- Decreased muscle strength
- Excessive sweating or hot flushes
- Joint pain and muscular pain
- Thinning, dry skin
- Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels
- Increase in body fat not related to change in diet or exercise
- Decreased libido and sexual function
If some or many of these symptoms apply to you, schedule an appointment with our physicians to see if you might benefit from hormone therapy.
Simple blood tests are done to test for hormone deficiencies, such as low testosterone.
There are several different ways to treat low testosterone; however, we recommend using bio-identical hormone pellets. Unlike other treatment options, pellet therapy provides a steady supply of testosterone in a form that is molecularly identical to that which your body produces. This should result in the hormone’s normal effects being restored and alleviate many of the symptoms caused by decreased production of hormones.
Bio-identical hormones have the exact same chemical structure as hormones that are made by the human body. The difference between bio-identical hormones versus synthetic non-bio-identical hormones is in the molecular structure (shape) of the hormone.
In order for a replacement hormone to fully replicate the function of the hormone naturally produced in our bodies, the chemical structure must exactly match the original. It is the structural differences that exist between bio-identical and non-bio-identical hormones that are responsible for side effects and health risks that occur when non-bio-identical hormones are used by humans.
Although testosterone is a hormone that is generally associated with men and giving men their masculinity, women’s bodies produce testosterone as well. The level of testosterone in women is certainly lower than it is in men, but it is present. In fact, the body makes all the intracellular estrogen it needs from testosterone.
Women’s testosterone levels peak in their 20s, and then decline to around half those peak levels by their 40s. Many women experience the same symptoms as men—and many women are beginning to supplement through pellet replacement therapy.
Medical literature shows significant advantages for men and women with symptoms of low testosterone when supplemented with bio-identical hormones. These include physical, mental and emotional advantages.
- Improvements in blood pressure, cardiac function, strength, fat loss, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, bone density
- Breast cancer regression and protection
- Prostate cancer protection and possible regression
- Nerve protection and repair both in the brain and peripherally
- Increased tissue anti-oxidant levels and decreases inflammation\
- Improves cognitive function, balance, memory, spatial orientation, insomnia and may protect from Alzheimer’s
- Reverses depression, anxiety, aggression, irritability and enhances friendliness, libido, sense of well-being
Unlike other treatment options, bio-identical hormone pellets provide a steady hormone level for months because the extremely small pellets are (usually painlessly) inserted in the fat under our skin and dissolve over time.
You will fill out a brief medical history and a symptoms questionnaire. We will discuss your symptoms and review the results from your blood test (if you had it drawn prior to your visit.) Alternatively, you can receive a lab test form during your consultation and return in several days to discuss the results of the tests and your appropriateness for this therapy.
Known risks and side effects are minor and uncommon, though these will be discussed with you as well. If you decide to proceed, it takes less than 5 minutes to insert the pellets. You can resume normal activities (except for swimming and strenuous exercise which require a 5 day wait). You can expect to feel some improvements with in the first week and almost everyone feels the difference within the first 3 months of therapy.
Four weeks after your first insertion, you will be asked to get another blood test and then come in to discuss what you have experienced in symptom relief. We will decide whether any adjustment needs to be done to your future dosage based on your blood test and symptoms.
Typically, men require insertion every 4 months and women require insertion every three months, so you can expect to have 3 or 4 insertions in your first year of treatment. You can stop BHT treatment at any time, which will cause your hormone levels to drift back to your pre-treatment levels and your pre-treatment symptoms to return.
For men, the cost is $1000 per insertion approximately every 4 months. For women, the cost is $500 per insertion approximately every 3 months.
Some insurance plans cover some of the cost of testosterone pellets; however, patients should check with their providers to see if their plans cover this treatment. Please note that Principal Medical Group is not a participating provider with any insurance plan and patients would need to coordinate directly with their insurance providers for reimbursement.